49ers defense: Player-by-player review


49ers defense: Player-by-player review

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
The good news is that the 49ers' starters on Friday night held New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees without a first down on three series to open the game.

RECAP: 49ers bullied by Saints 24-3 in exhibition debut
The 49ers got some good showings from several players battling for jobs on defense, including outside linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith. Those two players are fighting for starting roles against Parys Haralson, who has been a starter since 2007.The depth on the defensive line looked good with Ricky Jean Francois, Will Tukuafu and Demarcus Dobbs playing well. Also, undrafted rookies Ian Williams and Sealver Siliga handled nose tackle well in the second half.Here's a player-by-player glance at the 49ers' defense from the team's 24-3 loss to the Saints in the exhibition opener for both teams:

Defensive linemen (9)
61-Sealver Siliga: Entered at NT for the second series of the third quarter. Showed some good athleticism to get outside the numbers to make a tackle of TE Tory Humphrey for a 5-yard gain for his only tackle of the game.
63-Will Tukuafu: Entered the game at RDE in place of Justin Smith on the fourth defensive series of the game. The next series, he shifted to LDE. . . . Was not credited with any tackles, but still made an impact. . . RT Zach Strief was called for a holding penalty against Tukuafu. . . . He got good pressure on Daniel to lead to incomplete pass late in first half.
64-Ian Williams: Opened the second half at NT, as he took over for Ricky Jean Francois. He split time at nose tackle in the second half with Siliga, and recorded three tackles. (Follow on Twitter @IWilliams95)
71-Brian Bulcke: Entered game at LDE in the middle of the third quarter. He was credited with two tackles. . . . Got his hands on RB Chris Taylor at the line of scrimmage but couldn't bring him down on his TD run.
78-Demarcus Dobbs: Entered the game at RDE in the middle of the second quarter, and recorded four tackles in the game. . . . . Pushed the pocket against G Matt Tennant to force QB Chase Daniel to scramble for no gain. . . . Working against LG Brian de la Puente, he got good pressure on the QB while de la Puente was called for holding. . . . Later, de la Puente moved him off the ball as Taylor scored on a 4-yard run.
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Has not practiced during training camp due to a hamstring strain. He made trip to New Orleans with his teammates, but did not suit up for the game.
91-Ray McDonald: Started at LDE and played very well. He got tremendous push against RG Jahri Evans to disrupt Brees into third-down incompletion on second series. . . . Stacked up his side pretty well in the run game.
94-Justin Smith: Started at RDE and played the first nine snaps of the game (three Saints three-and-outs). He fended off LG Carl Nicks to stop Pierre Thomas for a 1-yard gain on Saints' first offensive play. He finished with two tackles.
95-Ricky Jean Francois: Started at NT and played the entire first half. He was credited with two tackles and did a good job of stacking up the middle in the run game. . . He was credited with two tackles. (Follow on Twitter @Freakyjean95)Linebackers (14)
47-Monte Simmons: Entered the game at ROLB for the final five minutes of the game. Did not make any tackles.
50-Kenny Rowe: Saw all of his action on special teams. . . Broke through to block a punt, but the play was nullified as the 49ers had too many men on the field.
51-Blake Costanzo: Did not play any defense, but was around the ball a couple times on special teams.
52-Patrick Willis: Started at MLB and played the first nine snaps of the game but did not get in on any action. (Follow on Twitter @PatrickWillis52)
53-NaVorro Bowman: Started at ILB, alongside Willis, and was credited with three tackles. He added another stop on special teams. . . . Called for a late hit out of bounds on scrambling Saints QB Chase Daniel. . . . Had good pass coverage on a couple plays to keep completion yards to a minimum. (Follow on Twitter @NBowman53)
54-Larry Grant: Entered the game, replacing Willis, for the fourth defensive series of the game. . . . Came up to make open-field tackle on Mark Ingram for just a 4-yard gain. . . . Recorded five tackles and looks as if he can be a reliable backup on the inside. (Follow on Twitter @LarryGrant59)
55-Ahmad Brooks: Started at LOLB, and played as well as anyone on the team's defense. . . . He came from the back side to trip up QB Drew Brees as he was throwing to force an incompletion on a third-down pass to end first series. . . . Got good pressure from the outside against RT Jon Stinchcomb to force Daniel to run. . . . Got a hit on Daniel as he was throwing to force a second-quarter incompletion.
56-Scott McKillop: Coming off major left knee injury from a year ago, he has missed more than a week of practice time. He did not make the trip to New Orleans. (Follow on Twitter @smckillop56)
57-Keaton Kristick: Replaced Bowman at ILB late in the first half, and was credited with two tackles on defense and one more on special teams. . . Opened the second half with a tackle of WR Joseph Morgan for a 3-yard loss on a reverse. (Follow on Twitter @KKRISTICK32)
58-Alex Joseph: Entered game at ILB at the start of the fourth quarter. . . . He did not get credited with any tackles. . . . Probably should've taken a deeper drop in his zone to make it a more difficult throw for Daniel on a 23-yard pass to WR Andy Tanner in the fourth quarter.
59-Thaddeus Gibson: Did not see any action on defense.
96-Antwan Applewhite: He was on the first punt-return unit, and was called for an illegal block above the waist. . . . Played defense at LOLB, entering the game in the third quarter. . . . Allowed RB Joique Bell to get outside of him for an 8-yard gain in the third quarter. . . . Did a much better job to string out Mark Ingram on a failed fourth-down run.
98-Parys Haralson: Started at ROLB and was credited with two tackles. He played the first three Saints possessions. and made a stop of RB Darren Sproles for a 1-yard loss. . . . Re-entered the game late in the first half at LOLB, replacing Brooks. He even played the first four snaps of the second half when all the other 49ers defensive starters had already been removed from the game.
99-Aldon Smith: Entered the game at ROLB for the fourth series of the game. He had a solid debut with five tackles, a sack and was credited with a forced fumble, too. . . . Shrugged off attempted block of LT Charles Brown to stop Ingram for a 1-yard loss. . . . Set the edge on a reverse, allowing Kristick drop WR Joseph Morgan for a 3-yard loss. . . . Took advantage of a mismatch against FB Korey Hall to trip up QB Chase Daniel for a 6-yard sack. Daniel fumbled as he was falling to the ground. (Follow on Twitter @AldonSmithJETS)Defensive backs (17)
20-Madieu Williams: Started at FS and played the entire first half. He had deep coverage on WR Robert Meachem, as he misjudged Daniel's throw but he still managed to get his fingertips on the ball to break up the pass. He also added one tackle.
22-Carlos Rogers: He started at LCB, and had a very quiet game with no action coming to his side.
23-Taylor Mays: He played exclusively on special teams in the first half. He entered at FS in place of Madieu Williams and played all but the final series second half on defense. . . . He did not have the kind of game that would change the coaches' opinion of him one way or the other. . . He recorded two tackles. Came flying in to trip up Bell after an 8-yard gain. . . . And stepped up take down Tanner after 23-yard reception.
25-Tarell Brown: Has not practiced since Aug. 5 with undisclosed injury. Did not make trip to New Orleans.
26-Tramaine Brock: Started at RCB and played the first three quarters. . . He gave WR Robert Meachem the inside on a deep route, 35 yards down the field, as it appeared he was expecting safety help. But Meachem could not hold onto Brees' throw. . . The only play he gave up in coverage was a 11-yard pass to WR Courtney Roby in the third quarter. . . . Came back a couple plays later to have good coverage on a two-man rush against Morgan. (Follow on Twitter @T26Brock)
27-C.J. Spillman: Replaced Donte Whitner at SS in the middle of the second quarter, and he recorded five tackles . . . . Made hit on WR Courtney Roby near sideline after 18-yard completion late in first half. . . . WR Montez Billings caught a crossing route in his section of the field for a 25-yard gain. . . . Missed tackle on Mark Ingram, who eluded Spillman's low tackle attempt for a 14-yard TD run up the middle. (Follow on Twitter @CJSPILLMAN27)
28-Curtis Taylor: He played special teams in the first half but did not get onto the field to play defense until the fourth quarter. He was not credited with any tackles.
29-Chris Culliver: Saw action on the first series as the third CB. Then, replaced Rogers in the second quarter and played all but the final defensive series of the game. . . Made nice tackle of Mark Ingram in run support for a 3-yard gain late in first half. . . He recorded three tackles and did not surrender any yardage in coverage. (Follow on Twitter @Cullyinthehouse)
30-Reggie Smith: Underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday. He did not make trip to New Orleans. (Follow on Twitter @superreg30)
31-Donte Whitner: Started at SS and made a play to break up Brees' third-down pass for TE Jimmy Graham to end second series. . . . Had good coverage down the field on Graham on a third-down incompletion at end of first quarter. (Follow on Twitter @DonteWhitner)
32-Corey Nelms: Entered the game at LCB with five minutes remaining, and did not get involved in any of the action.
33-Phillip Davis: Got into the game at RCB for the final four plays after the two-minute warning.
35-Phillip Adams: Entered as the third CB in the second quarter after Rogers was removed from the game. . . . Broke up a third-down pass intended for Billings on a third-down play early in second half. . . . Broke up another pass intended for Tanner in the fourth quarter, when he took over at RCB. (Follow on Twitter @phil_adams35)
36-Shawntae Spencer: Sustained left hamstring strain in practice July 31 and has not practiced since. He did not make trip to New Orleans.
38-Dashon Goldson: He traveled to New Orleans but did not suit up for the game after taking part in just one practice since signing a one-year contract this week. (Follow on Twitter @thehawk38)
40-Chris Maragos: Replaced Taylor Mays at FS in the three minutes. He was credited with one tackle. (Follow on Twitter @ChrisMaragos)
41-Curtis Holcomb: Placed on injured reserve after sustaining ruptured left Achilles on July 28. He does not count against roster limit. (Follow on Twitter @C_Holcomb24)
43-Colin Jones: He did not see any action on defense, but showed on special teams what made him a sixth-round pick. . . Called the signals on the punt coverage unit from the fullback position and was always the first player down the field. However, he had a difficult time making the tackle once he got down there. . . . He had the first and best chance to get Morgan on a 78-yard punt return for a TD. . . . Credited with one special-teams tackle.
45-Anthony West: Saw action late in the game as an extra defensive back, and had one tackle.Specialists (4)
2-David Akers: He nailed a 60-yarder in warmups, and then knocked one through from 59 yards late in the first half. The longest kick Akers has ever made in a regular-season game was 57 yards in 2003. (Follow on Twitter @DavidAkers2)
4-Andy Lee: He was a busy man with nine punts, averaging 46.6 yards. His net average was just 31.6 because of the 78-yard punt return for a touchdown.
9-Fabrizio Scaccia: He had two kickoffs, including an onside kick at the end of the first half. He opened the second half with a kickoff 8 yards deep into the end zone for a touchback.
86-Brian Jennings: He handled all the snapping duties on punts, as well as the one field-goal attempt. . . . Was called for a holding penalty on a punt. (Follow on Twitter @Jennings141)-Rookies

On eve of game vs Rams, 49ers only have two healthy safeties


On eve of game vs Rams, 49ers only have two healthy safeties

Starting safety Eric Reid will not be available for the 49ers on Thursday night, and the other presumptive starting safeties are questionable, too.

Jimmie Ward (hamstring) and Jaquiski Tartt (neck) went through limited practice Wednesdsay and are listed as questionable to face the Los Angeles Rams in front of a national television audience at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday night.

Ward and Tartt are expected to be available for the game, but the 49ers’ only healthy safeties are rookies Lorenzo Jerome and Adrian Colbert.

Reid is expected miss more than one game with a sprain of the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Reid is listed as out for Thursday’s game, along with linebacker Reuben Foster.

The 49ers medical staff no longer requires Foster to wear an orthopedic boot to stabilize his high right ankle sprain. General manager John Lynch said Foster is making good progress, but the 49ers are going to be cautious with him.

“The one thing I know is that freak athletes tend to be freak healers, as well,” Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“He wanted to play the first week in the boot. That’s just the way he’s wired. We got to make sure he’s all the way healthy before we put him in, and we’re going to do that.”

Tight end George Kittle (hip) and linebacker Eli Harold (foot) are questionable for the game and are expected to play. Kittle sustained his injury during the 49ers’ 12-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Harold was stepped on during a practice this week.

49ers injury report
LB Reuben Foster (ankle)
S Eric Reid (knee)
LB Eli Harold (foot)
TE George Kittle (hip)
S Jaquiski Tartt (neck)
S Jimmie Ward (hamstring)

Shanahan: 49ers need Hoyer to step up

Shanahan: 49ers need Hoyer to step up

The 49ers entered the regular season feeling as confident in quarterback Brian Hoyer as anyone on the offensive side of the ball.

But Hoyer has struggled through the worst back-to-back games of his 33-start NFL career. And the 49ers need him to get going, beginning Thursday night against the Los Angeles Rams, coach Kyle Shanahan said.

"I want him to get his edge back. I want him to get his confidence,” Shanahan said Wednesday on the KNBR Morning Show.

“We need Brian to step up, and we need everyone around him to step up.”

In the first two games of the season, Hoyer has completed 62.9 percent of his 62 pass attempts but for just 292 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating is a lowly 60.7.

The 49ers have scored only four field goals and no touchdowns on their 21 offensive possessions in losses to Carolina and Seattle. Moreover, the 49ers have converted just four of 23 (17.4 percent) of their third-down attempts.

The quick turnaround on Thursday at Levi’s Stadium is something Hoyer said he welcomes this week -- of all weeks.

Last season with the Chicago Bears, Hoyer did not throw for fewer than 300 yards in any of his four full games. On Sunday in the 49ers’ 12-9 loss to the Seahawks, he managed just 99 yards passing.

“It was a tough game and now we move on,” Hoyer said. “Thankfully, this week we get to move on really quick and move on to LA.

”You get to put the last one behind you and move on to the next.”